Cubs give up Phillies game in 9th on passed ball

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Philadelphia Phillies' Andrew Knapp, right, and Jean Segura celebrate after Knapp scored the game-winning run on a passed ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia Phillies' Andrew Knapp, right, and Jean Segura celebrate after Knapp scored the game-winning run on a passed ball during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Philadelphia. Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs' Frank Schwindel reacts after hitting a two-run home run against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ranger Suarez during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Philadelphia.

    Chicago Cubs' Frank Schwindel reacts after hitting a two-run home run against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ranger Suarez during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Philadelphia. Associated Press

 
By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
Updated 9/15/2021 10:00 PM

PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Knapp scored on a passed ball in the ninth inning to bolster the Philadelphia Phillies' tenuous playoff push with a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night.

Knapp led off the ninth with a single off Trevor Megill (1-2) and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout. The Cubs' Robinson Chirinos couldn't get a handle on Megill's knuckle-curve and Knapp scooted home with the winning run.

 

The Phillies' bullpen blew a lead in the late innings. Chirinos hit a 2-run homer off Jose Alvarado that tied it 4-all in the eighth. Matt Duffy hit a solo shot off Ian Kennedy (2-1) in the ninth and tied it at 5.

J.T. Realmuto led off the eighth inning with his 15th homer of the season in a topsy-turvy final two innings for a club clinging to playoff aspirations.

Bryce Harper led off the fourth with a double off Cubs starter Alec Mills and scored when Didi Gregorious hit into a double play. Freddy Galvis added a 2-run homer, his 13th, later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.

Suarez gave two back in the fifth when Frank Schwindel hit a 2-run homer that made it 3-2. Schwindel, from Livingston, N.J., and a St. John's product, had several dozen fans going wild for him behind the Cubs dugout. At least one row spelled out "Frank the Tank" on the back of their white T-shirts.

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Suarez even helped himself when he doubled off Mills in the fifth and scored on Realmuto's single for a 4-2 lead in the fifth.

The Phillies entered 4½ games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East and three games behind St. Louis in the wild-card race. San Diego and Cincinnati are ahead of the Phillies for the second wild card with 17 games left this season.

Time is running out for the Phillies to make a serious move, yet the schedule remained in their favor: After finishing their three-game set with the Cubs on Thursday, the Phillies play 10 straight games against teams with losing records. Then, a three-game set in Atlanta to close September.

"The interesting thing is that all the other teams are losing, too," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "So we're still in this."

Alvarado wasted another solid outing by righty Ranger Suarez. He struck out a career-high 8 over 6 innings. He made his 10th start of the season out of 37 appearances and has a 1.50 ERA over 90 innings.

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